Shivraj Singh Chauhan dons skullcap, puts Narendra Modi in fix

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday sported a skull cap while greeting the Muslims on the occasion of Id-ul-Fitr.
Unlike Saffron poster-boy and Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, Mr Chouhan has made it a tradition during his three consecutive terms in office to visit a local mosque in the state capital of Bhopal every year for the festival. He then makes a short speech at a stage set up there.
Madhya Pradesh’s BJP Chief Minister’s  gesture may not be new, but it attains significance as Mr Modi is gearing up for the party’s prime ministerial nomination.
Mr Modi had refused to put on a skull cap as requested by a Muslim leader at a public function in his state two years ago, fuelling criticism that he is not a secular leader.
Film actor Raza Murad, who was present at the Idgah, appreciated Mr Chouhan’s gesture of putting on a skull cap.
“I do not think much importance should be given to sporting a skull cap as wearing it does not mean anything much,” the actor said.
However, the actor quipped, “It was time that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi learn some things from Chouhan and does not show his aversion to skull caps.”
While Mr Chouhan chose to remain silent on Mr. Murad’s observation, state Congress chief Kantilal Bhuria, who was also present, did not lose the opportunity to score a point. He was prompt in saying “obviously Mr Modi has been targetted.”
BJP national vice president Uma Bharti was quick in going online and giving her reaction through a tweet on Friday afternoon. She wrote: “how a c-grade actor could stand next to Mr Chouhan and criticise Mr. Modi.”
BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi chided the actor as “a reel-life villain discussing a real-life hero”. In recent months, a group of big-hitters within the BJP led by L.K. Advani  have tried, unsuccessfully, to project Mr Chouhan as a national-level leader in an alleged campaign to check Mr Modi’s ascension within the party.
Meanwhile, another Modi detractor, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, whose JD(U) walked off the NDA recently, was too seen wearing a skullcap while greeting Muslims on the occasion of Id.

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